Kenosha County

    The Interstate 94 and Highway 165/Q interchange in Pleasant Prairie is one of the most important development hot spots in southeastern Wisconsin.

    Southwest of I-94 and Highway Q, construction is ongoing for the new corporate headquarters for Uline Inc. Once the project is completed, the company will move its headquarters from Waukegan, Ill., to a new 280,000-square-foot three-story office building and a new 1.1-square-foot distribution center.

    “As much as the weather will allow them, they are making progress,” said Pleasant Prairie village administrator Michael Pollocoff. Milwaukee-based CG Schmidt Inc. is the general contractor for the project. “They’re moving right along.”

    Construction for the distribution space is expected to be complete by the end of this year. Initially, 200 employees will work at the distribution center. Construction of the corporate offices is expected to be complete during the spring of 2010. Initially, about 650 employees are expected to work in the Uline headquarters offices.

    Later, in a second phase of the project, Uline plans to add another 200,000 square feet of office space and 800,000 square feet of distribution space. Completion of all phases for the Uline campus is expected in 2015, and about 1,000 to 1,200 employees are expected to be working on the campus at that time.

    The story is much different on the other side of Highway Q. That’s where Abbott Laboratories purchased about 500 acres of land for a future expansion project. However the site remains quiet, and Abbott Labs has not indicated when it plans to build anything there. It has reached a development agreement with the village that called for a gated campus of office and research buildings.

    “We just finished the documents for the development agreement,” Pollocoff said. “They’ve been fairly aggressive about getting this done.”

    In August, Abbott announced plans to eliminate 1,000 jobs, including some at its Lake County headquarters just across the state line in Abbott Park, Ill., casting doubt on the company’s expansion plans in Pleasant Prairie.

    However, Abbott announced in January that its fourth quarter net income shot up 28 percent, providing hope that it will eventually expand in Pleasant Prairie.

    “They just don’t seem to be as affected by the downturn of the economy,” Pollocoff said.

    Meanwhile, Pleasant Prairie is planning to put a pair of properties that the village owns near I-94 and Highway 165/Q on the market. One site is 27 acres and is located just southwest of the freeway interchange. That site will likely attract hotel and restaurant development, Pollocoff said. The other site is 35 acres and may be suitable for light industrial development, he said.

    Kenosha County has attracted several other industrial developments in recent years as growth from the Chicago area has spread north of the state line. Two of the biggest are food distribution centers. Chicago-based First Industrial Realty Trust is building a 692,000-square-foot distribution center on a vacant 100-acre site southeast of 52nd Street and 88th Avenue for Norfolk, Neb.-based Affiliated Foods Midwest. In addition, a 587,710-square-foot distribution center is being built southeast of 38th Street and I-94 for Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Gordon Food Service.

    Two major retail developments are being built in Kenosha County.  The Shoppes at Prairie Ridge project on Highway 50 in Pleasant Prairie has landed Target,

    JCPenney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, PetSmart and other tenants. At the northwest corner of Highway 31 and Washington Road, just outside of Kenosha, Chicago-based The Bradford Real Estate Companies is building a 500,000-square-foot shopping center anchored by Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores.

     

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